© NASA/Cassini

Jupiter at perigee

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Outer Planets feed

Objects: Jupiter
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Jupiter's orbit around the Sun will carry it to its closest point to the Earth – its perigee – passing within 4.21 AU of us.

Jupiter reaches perigee at around the time when it passes the Earth in its orbit. At this time, the Sun, Earth and Jupiter lie in a straight line, with the Earth in the middle.

Consequently, Jupiter appears almost exactly opposite the Sun in the sky – a configuration called opposition, when Jupiter reaches its highest point in the sky at midnight and is visible for much of the night.

Every perigee of Jupiter is associated with a near-simultaneous opposition.

On this occasion, Jupiter will attain a maximum angular diameter of 45.8 arcsec at closest approach, and a maximum brightness of magnitude -2.7 .

Observing Jupiter

Even at its closest approach to the Earth, it is never possible to distinguish Jupiter as more than a star-like point of light with the naked eye, though a simple pair of binoculars is sufficient to reveal it as a disk of light.

From San Diego , it will be visible between 17:35 and 06:16. It will become accessible at around 17:35, when it rises to an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. It will reach its highest point in the sky at 23:56, 79° above your southern horizon. It will become inaccessible at around 06:16 when it sinks below 7° above your western horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

A chart of the path of Jupiter across the sky in 2014 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.

The position of Jupiter at the moment it passes perigee will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Jupiter 07h06m50s 22°40'N Gemini -2.7 45.8"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 13 Jul 2024

The sky on 13 July 2024
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

8-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


8 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:51 14:37 21:23
Venus 06:39 13:39 20:38
Moon 12:55 18:42 00:22
Mars 01:59 08:50 15:42
Jupiter 02:55 09:56 16:57
Saturn 22:57 04:43 10:30
All times shown in PDT.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

06 Nov 2013  –  Jupiter enters retrograde motion
05 Jan 2014  –  Jupiter at opposition
06 Mar 2014  –  Jupiter ends retrograde motion
08 Dec 2014  –  Jupiter enters retrograde motion

Image credit

© NASA/Cassini


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